My first stop for Doors Open was out in the Vanier area. I was a few minutes early, and came across this mural, nearly complete on the wall of a four story building. It's done by three artists, Mique Michelle, Kalkidan Assefa, and Markus Kisa Gaudreau, and celebrates Inuit culture. It was officially unveiled a few days ago. At this point, the artists would have still been working on final touches, as the hydraulic lifts were in place.
My destination was nearby, and it was something I've shown you back in a post in April. The Wabano Centre is an organization working with First Nations people in the Ottawa area, as a health and social services centre. It has been headquartered here since 2013 in a bright and wonderfully designed building by Douglas Cardinal, the First Nations architect who designed the Museum of History in Gatineau. Mr. Cardinal has a style of making buildings flow, which show in the curves he employs in his designs, and fits into the purpose of the building.
I took a tour with one of the staffers inside (and didn't start taking pictures until late in the tour). She spoke of the design of the building, its programs, the art that could be seen here and there, and the evolution of relationships between Canada and its First Nations, which we're still dealing with today. That tour included a walk into the washrooms- men's and women's- which were rightly described as the best looking washrooms in the city. The former incorporates the idea of the wampum belt, an item common to numerous First Nations peoples, while the latter uses tiles in a strawberry plant motif.
The tour took in the third and fourth floors of the building. The first and second floors are more typical working space, referred to informally as the earth and water floors, while the third and fourth floors are referred to as the fire and air floors- all four elements important in First Nations culture. This rooftop view looks out onto a project the Centre is doing this summer- the addition of a traditional lodge to the roof.
This view from the top floor looks out onto the atrium below. The mosaic down below reflects the fire aspect of that floor, and I can tell you that when we were standing right down at the center of it, our voices echoed- a trick of Cardinal's design of this space. Across the gap is a large working space where among other things, a canoe and quilt were being prepared.
Numerous examples of First Nations art could be found on the walls.
Coming back down, I took another view of that third floor mosaic. The columns surrounding this space each feature banners displaying aspects of the moon through the year, such as the spirit moon in the last shot. If you look up from the mosaic, the dome up above has an oculus window, with the four colours neatly arranged around it.
What a stunning building! It's gorgeous inside and out and I'd guess it's a unique and welcoming space to be in as well.ReplyDelete
Museum of History in Gatineau does flow in your photo like an organic thing! A new thing to the eye, well doneReplyDelete
The building seems to flow indeed, I like it.ReplyDelete
Um belo e moderno centro.ReplyDelete
Um abraço e bom Domingo.
Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
...I have always been fond of First Nation art and this mural is very special.ReplyDelete
Hello, I love the mural, really beautiful. The design of the building is stunning. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!ReplyDelete
very cool mural ... love all those colors. very cool architecture too. ( ;ReplyDelete
I especially love the colors in the first photo!ReplyDelete
@Kay: it is well designed.ReplyDelete
@Cloudia: his style shows itself in both.
@Marianne: so do I.
@Francisco: it is!
@Tom: I agree!
@Eileen: thank you!
@Norma: me too!
that building is certainly a very interesting design. I like it! I also like that colorful mural.ReplyDelete
A wonderful building, William! Thanks for the tour.ReplyDelete
A truly magnificent structure William. I loved the mural and the look on the inside. The floor mosaic, the artwork, everything! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful place. but since douglas Cardinal designed it, it naturally is beautiful. Cardinal's first building wa a church in Red Deer. The engineers had a big challenge to build it. They had a hell of a time to design the building with all the curves.ReplyDelete
Such an amazing building, William! Lovely art and floor. Wow!ReplyDelete
Love the mural and the mosaic. An interesting building!ReplyDelete
Colourful wall mural and a beautifully designed building both inside and outside.ReplyDelete
@Sharon: I did too!ReplyDelete
@RedPat: you're welcome.
@Denise: it was a pleasure.
@Red: I know he has done quite a few projects.
@Linda: it is amazing.
@Marleen: that it is.
I love the design of the building, it's very attractive. The mural is stunning to see. Thanks for the fabulous tour William!ReplyDelete
Wonderful post William.ReplyDelete
cheers, parsnip and thehamish
Fabulous mural Willism and it was excellent to see inside the Wabano Center with you.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful way for the architect to pay tribute to his own people. It would be such a pleasure to work there. The building inside seems to have a really relaxing, embracing feel to it.ReplyDelete
This is all just stunning. That Wabano Center looks fantastic - I've not seen anything like it and the mural just blows my mind! WOW!ReplyDelete
@Bill: you're welcome!ReplyDelete
@Parsnip: thank you!
@Grace: it was a pleasure to visit.
@Wendy: it felt very inviting.
@Lowell: I knew about the mural being done, just not where it was precisely, so when I got into Vanier that morning, it was close to where I got off the city bus. I was pleased to see it.
That's a beautiful mural, and I love the design of The Wabano Centre.ReplyDelete
What a fantastically designed building. The outside draws you in.ReplyDelete
Wow! Fun to see this art and architecture!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful architecture in this building.ReplyDelete
WOW - so cool!ReplyDelete
Wow that first photograph ... the mural looks great, lovely colours.ReplyDelete
All the best Jan
@Jan: I do too.ReplyDelete
@Mari: it really does.
@Linda: it certainly is.
@Orvokki: I agree.